INTERVIEW x Cassius Select

Cassius Select, jeune australien, est depuis longtemps dans mon viseur, mes oreilles, ma tête tant sa musique m’obsède. Il représente vraiment pour moi le futur de la musique dans le sens où aucune influence ou style de musique ne peuvent y être associées, si ce n’est bien sur une touche de ‘bass music’ de part ses rythmiques. Après un début plutôt dance, et un deuxième projet en parallèle-GUERRE-, son projet Cassius Select s’est recentré sur un musique plus personnelle et atypique lors de son dernier EP largement plébiscité par Matthew Herbert himself il y a quelques mois dans son interview pour Boiler Room.  Mesdemoiselles, Messieurs, le futur est là !

// I have been obsessed by the young australian Cassius Select‘ music for quite some times now. He really embodies according to me the music of the future in the way that none influences nor music styles can be assimilated to his work- except some larger style like ‘bass music’. After a more dancy start on his Cassius Select project, while he was running a parallel project – GUERRE – , his Cassius Select’ project really found its real organic core with his last EPs; and being mentionned by Matthew Herbert few months ago in his Boiler Room interview. Ladies, Gentleman, the future is here !

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– How and when did you start producing and considering that doing music will be your life or big part of it ? 

I started making music around 13, just little songs made with lo-fi equipment. very very basic things. just vocals and some guitars or things like that. there was never a conscious decision to make music a large part of my life, i think with these things they just kinda happen. you start to understand that you’re quite good at it or that you have a natural aptitude for it and you keep receiving a pleasure of some sort from it. like a reward system. and that keeps building, and you keep finding reasons to exercise it. at some point though there is a self-reflexivity that comes along and that complete changes and informs why and how you make music. and for whom. all these bigger picture type things come into play. and that never leaves i think. 

– I saw you starting in your project Cassius Select with more « house » track like ‘Jamo’. How was your first approach to music, first influences ? how was your journey/evolution through music to end-up doing this style of music now ? 

I think i was very naive with the cassius select project initially. firstly, i didn’t have much knowledge of dance music history. house was this umbrella term for what i had thought dance music was, a sort of gateway drug. upon further discovery/rediscovery and research i began to learn about dance music not only as a history but in terms of how it affected me as a person who likes to dance. and thats been the major factor in how i write music, to constantly ask the question: does this make me move? and how does it make me move? and i go from there.

It’d be a waste of time to make a list of influences from when i first started making tunes to now. its pretty pointless because at the end of the day if you reach something that you think sounds like an honest piece of work, all the genre signifiers and such don’t matter. they’re just canon fodder. if i can say anything about influences its most likely affected by the internet, first and foremost, and then my immediate community of friends.

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– The work on your videos is pretty impressive and interesting. Are you developing generally your videos clip with your entourage (director, actors, editors,..) ? For example, what was the process for Judge/Lock’s video ?

The judge lock video was done a whim. it was requested we make one by the label. it was made out of necessity. looking back, i don’t think that song or video needed to be seen by an audience.

I like the video, it means a lot to me in terms of people involved, but its a very personal thing. multiple people filming, directing and acting with just an iPhone camera. it was just a few close friends having fun essentially, being silly…I’m not sure that i feel comfortable with the public being able to judge something that was done it such a haphazard way. but thats on me. its a personal struggle. it has this sense that it wants to be dark and moody but i cringe looking at it sometimes. it doesn’t quite pull it off. so there was a lesson to be learnt there.

And its a lesson I’ve had to keep learning. to not do things because a label, festival or promoter wants some press for something they want to make money off of. at the time i was feeling open to trying new things, opening new opportunities for creative output, but theres a point at which it doesn’t become your decision, it doesn’t come from your (for lack of a better word) heart. the video was true to myself and others but the decision to put it out was pressured by other forces, that had different intents.

– In a more technical production-wise, your music style is pretty much based around complex drum’s loop and « hard-cutted » vocal samples . Are these live drums samples ? 

They’re a mixture of both, live-sounding and electronic drums. its completely sample based music. 

What is in more general way your production process ?

I’m not sure to be honest….i guess building a seed, a loop, a sound or whatever, that can be either quite strong and obvious or quite vague. then trying to sculpt an essence out of it. its vibe hunting.

– What is your production set-up for this next EP ? 

Just a laptop.

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– Can you tell more about this upcoming EP (which label, what was the main focus, the process of recording, …)

It’s the same idea, just more refined. dance music thats meant to make you move without all the tropes of dance music. just rhythm workouts really. in terms of label, thats up in the air. whoever is willing to pick it up. whoever believes. the process of recording is just as unmagical, its just a person in their room making computer music…..It’s not very romantic. It’s quite sad actually.

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– How is the Australian scene going according to you ? what are the artist to closely follow in the coming years ?

I find it hard to say anything about the general australian music scene. firstly because i feel so isolated from it in some senses. i can only speak for myself and my immediate community. in terms of sydney….its quite dire at the moment.

We have a 130am curfew which has completely devastated sydney nightlife and music culture in general. its a very depressing period in sydney. council regulations make it extremely hard for anyone without a large amount of income to make a space to present art, music…to put on any “counter” culture night on. there is simply no infrastructure for it.

So my friends and i have moved to the internet, where we’ve always existed. working with labels overseas and corresponding with other dj’s and label owners through the net. Acts like do carey, cliques, cop envy……These are friends that have never had a very large sydney following anyways….not enough to build a living off of. So the sydney music scene, and i speak solely for myself and the few i am quite close friends with….lives on the internet.

– Can you tell us more about your GUERRE project ? Is it behind you now or is it another approach of music that you want to pursue ? 

Currently the project is on hiatus. It’s a vocal led project. And at some point i lost interest. And electronic dance music became mainstream in Sydney. So i decided to give it a rest. But i think ill come back to that project one day. Once i regain the courage it sing again….

– What are your upcoming plans, collab, tour, projects ?

Finish this ep. Finish more work. Maybe do a tour. I’m not sure. I’m just taking things one step at a time.

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Son dernier EP est sorti chez / find his last EP on UTTU le label de Dj Haus

Et sa dernière mixtape pour Hyponik vaut clairement le détour / His last mind-blowing tape for Hyponik

Interview : Vincent de Malherbe. Autres interviews à découvrir ici.